Summary: The fury of a woman scorned leaves a deadly trail and there is only one man who can stop her.
Rating: T+, Word Count: 947
Worried, fearful, coal-black eyes locked onto the dark form as it paused outside the dilapidated house. Stepping from the shadows his heart raced, not knowing who was going to survive this fight to the death. His thoughts drifted back to a conversation just moments prior.
“There’s no other way?”
“I’ll be here if you need me.”
The man in black hesitated at the door to the old bordello. Due to the recent crimes it had been closed down but one soul refused to leave. Understanding the danger that lay inside, the man knew this was the only way to end the devilish mayhem that had plagued this small mining town, and hopefully avoid one more death.
With a strained sigh of resignation he turned the rusty knob and left his familiar and safe world behind. A chill ran down the man’s spine as he surveyed the interior of the dilapidated structure which was filled with mist and mildew, and wreaked of inhuman smells. Cobwebs covered the lone chandelier suspended from the foyer ceiling. Two of the four candles burned weakly, casting undulating shadows across the walls. Feeling something brush his legs, he glanced down as a black cat rubbed against him before skittering up the staircase opposite the door. A moment later a dark haired woman appeared on the shadowed steps. Her harsh expression became wary, as she sashayed toward him with a hunger in her golden eyes.
“You said you’d never come here again.”
“I came to put an end to the madness, and the murders.”
The woman gave an eerie laugh as she pushed her body against his rigid form, trailing icy fingers down his cheek, along his neck and into his opened shirt. He endured her seductive play with a clenched jaw, reminding himself this was no woman.
She stepped back and twirled around to show off her silk dress with its plunging neckline to him. “I’ve heard the tittering in town. They call me the devil with the blue dress on.” She leaned against him once more, ensnaring her fingers in his dark curls. “Do you remember when you bought this dress for me?”
He shuddered at the memory. Was it only a month ago? He’d bought it for the woman he thought he loved, but almost too late he had learned how dangerous she truly was. He had abandoned her that night and could still hear her screams of rage. It was that same dress that she wore as she’d committed the subsequent murders.
“Come, my darling. Step into my parlor and let us entertain each other. Share my exotic ways and you will never crave the other world again.”
The devil woman smiled wickedly as her arm slithered around his and guided him past heavy velvet curtains. “Of all my dark-haired lovers, you are the prize I sought. The others were merely a means to make you return.”
As she attempted to lead him to a faded chaise, he held his ground. Hot desire was pressed down as he locked his thoughts upon his deadly task. “No. That’s not what I’m here for, and you know it.”
Her alluring gaze flared to dark anger in an instant, then faded just as quickly. The hunger in her eyes returned and deepened as she returned to him rubbing her body hard against his, her hand roving everywhere in hopes of awakening his desires, making him crave her.
She never saw the dagger appear. His hand moved with stealth, speed, and accuracy. As the jagged blade carved into her chest, the female visage before him morphed into a hideous creature and released a scream that split the night. Her fingers transformed into deadly claws which ripped his shirt open and dragged long bloody trails down his bare chest. In an instant, he was surrounded by mist and swirling images of the men she had killed. Catching a glimpse of the ghost of Smokey Joe, her latest victim, he struggled to push the dagger deeper.
Losing his sense of reality and feeling the life draining from him, he collapsed to the floor. The creature’s writhing body fell on top of his, trapping him, as she struggled to escape her fate. Unearthly moans and loud crashes blocked out any other sounds. Darkness claimed them both as the walls of the house crashed down around them.
With fresh air suddenly assaulting his nostrils, he attempted a life-giving breath. Paralysis gave way to the need to escape the horrors he had experienced. The effort to sit up was made easier with strong hands assisting him.
Glancing down at his shredded shirt, he found not blood or gaping wounds, but tingling scars, reflecting the bluish light from the full moon. As the fog lifted from his mind, one final memory drifted past. His first encounter with her had been sensual and bewitching, but ultimately became terrifying. When he spurned her continued advances that fateful night, a series of murders of dark-haired men began. Two were unsuspecting travelers and one a miner, but when his friend, a barkeeper named Smokey Joe succumbed to her demented ways, he knew he had to stop her for good, even if it meant his own death.
Warm breath from a familiar and comforting voice tickled his ear. “You did it, son. She’s finally gone where she belongs.”
“Yeah Pa.” And she almost took me with her.
Author’s Note: This story was inspired from a challenge to use the song titles Devil With a Blue Dress On and The Ghost of Smokey Joe.
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